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The 10 best books of the year (so far), according to Amazon

A ready-to-go shopping list.

STRUGGLING TO FIND a new summer read?
Amazon.com’s editors have just released their picks for the best books of the year so far, all released between January and June 2014.

10. Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children) by Ransom Riggs

The sequel to the 2011 bestseller Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It features the same eerie vintage photographs that made its predecessor stand out. This young adult novel will thrill readers of all ages.


9. Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art by Carl Hoffman:

Award-winning journalist Carl Hoffman sets out on an adventure to solve the mystery of billionaire Michael Rockefeller’s death in New Guinea. Was he really killed by cannibals of the Asmat tribe? Hoffman solves this dark mystery while also exploring the culture of the Asmat.

8. Red Rising by Pierce Brown

This action-packed novel details life on Mars and the struggle between Reds, members of the lowest caste in society, and Golds, members of the highest caste. It has drawn comparisons to The Hunger Games and Ender’s Game.

7. The Invention of Wings: A Novel by Sue Monk Kidd

The “Secret Life of Bees” author brings the historical Grimké sisters to life in this incredibly powerful novel. When Sarah Grimké is given ownership of a slave named Handful for her birthday, it is the start of a lifelong friendship. When Sarah is older, she and her sister Angelina become two of the earliest voices in the abolitionist movement.


6. In Paradise: A Novel by Peter Matthiessen

This story takes place during a week-long retreat at a former concentration camp. Though the purpose of this trip is to be mindful of the location’s history, tensions arise among the participants, and the aim to find closure is abandoned. The novel follows the main character Clements Olin, and how the discord of the retreat forces him to fully embrace his family’s history.

5. No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State by Glenn Greenwald

This is an account of Greenwald’s meeting with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, and features brand new information about the NSA’s abuse of power provided by Snowden himself. Greenwald also uses this book to question why the government should be allowed to pry into the lives of private citizens. No Place to Hide is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the surveillance state.

4. Euphoria by Lily King

Inspired by the life of anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria details the romantic love triangle between English anthropologist Andrew Bankson and his two colleagues.


3. Redeployment by Phil Klay

This heavy novel pulls readers into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. With stories about everything from a man forced to shoot dogs to a Mortuary Affairs Marine who has to collect the remains of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers, Redeployment will enlighten readers about the struggles faced by soldiers both while they’re at war and when they return home.

2. The Book of Unknown Americans: A novel by Cristina Henríquez

This inspiring novel chronicles the lives of nine families who moved to United States from their homes in Latin America. It focuses on the Rivera family, who comes to America because of their daughter’s injury. Soon after arriving, the Riveras’ lives become entangled with the Toro family from Panama, and so forms a web of love and guilt that carries throughout the novel.

1. Updike by Adam Begley

This illuminating biography of John Updike details his entire life’s journey up until his death in 2009. With the help of in-depth interviews and extensive research, readers will learn how Updike’s eventful personal life shaped his writing.


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